Video: Story vs. lore, Star Wars: The Old Republic vs. The Elder Scrolls Online

In the ultimate battle for your dollar in the MMO industry, two MMOs with rabid fan bases duke it out by serving you a deep and engaging narrative. Star Wars: The Old Republic and The Elder Scrolls Online both want to draw you in with the worlds they have to offer, but each does so in a unique fashion: One gives you interesting characters build up your ego by making you the most power being in the galaxy, while the other tempts you in with a wondrous world to discover.

In Massively OP’s latest video, we’ll examine these two games and ask which is more appropriate for an MMORPG: story or lore. It’s a tough question — there might not be a satisfying answer!

Star Wars: The Old Republic‘s latest update War For Iokath is currently available for any max-level character. The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind releases June 6th, and you can catch our first impression of the expansion released yesterday.

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Suikoden

Awesome vid! Way to get Larry on board. Hope to see more of these. :)

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Dragon Whimsy

I love the overall production value and idea behind this video. I hope you guys make more videos like these. And I found the music endearing. :)

django857
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django857

I also go for lore. Tired of the mmo story feature now. I would love to be just a citizen in a game world. Anarchy Online was like that back in the day. Sure it had the two faction story but it wasn’t really shoved down your throat. I think GW2 killed the whole story thing for me. How that personal story ending needed you to form a party to finish it.

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Dragon Whimsy

I agree it is a mistake to tie the story to a required group activity. It probably doesn’t matter to you now, but they did make that dungeon into a solo story instance and the ending to Heart of Thorns was also a solo instance. You shouldn’t let a one time mistake turn you off from the concept of story in an MMO.

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Witches

Love this subject!

For an MMO i would go with lore, people usually complain about all the other “Ones” doing the exact same quest as you at exactly the same time, but what kills it for me is actually alts, when my second “One” goes to do that epic thing it feels kinda wrong, this char is not the one my main is, i’d rather be the sidekick or play some other role this time around, except i can’t.

I actually think SWTOR missed the opportunity to be the most unique mmo, instead of having one unified planetary story it could have multiple different objectives for different classes, sure the jedi will want to go save people, but the smuggler could just try to deliver some goods to someone, the tropper could defend military positions, or other military stuff, and this is where lore shines, with lore you just need the setting and from there anything goes, why can’t i be a jedi smuggler? or a force using trooper; do you really need the force to be a jedi? You could just learn the whole philosophy and fighting techniques, even without superpowers.

I would like to bring ME into this discussion, the story of the Quorians is one of my favourites in any game, plus the interaction between the various species in the ME universe is awesome, even though it is a SPG ME lore is very extensive and in depth, but you are limited to the story, once the story ends you don’t have anything interesting to do, personally i’d like to go and see what’s life like in a Quorian flotilla, or search for relics of the Rachni and Protheans, maybe even try and find some Batarians (from a safe distance), study the many animals species, interact with the Geth, and many other things.

The lore gives me a lot of stuff and then i can do the rest with my imagination, the story while very engrossing and fun limits what i can do.

Karma_Mule
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Karma_Mule

I really love ESO’s approach because it gives me more freedom to bring my own imagination in to the game. Because I have several storylines to follow in any order I choose, and can also wander the world with near complete freedom, I can pull together several strands and activities to make my character feel very unique, and I’m following a path that feels more personalized because of the control I have over it.

I still appreciate SWTOR and the story is well done, but it feels more like a fun ride than something I’m pulling together myself. Yes you have light/dark choices, but especially with their recent streamlining of the level-up path, lots of interesting sidelines and details feel pushed to the side. In the end ESO just feels like a far richer and more vibrant world for me.

Great video Larry, thanks!

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Little Bugbear

As a history major I love lore. Lore also helps to make the world feel more alive. Also lore driven games seem to keep developers from making linear quest lines, which allows players to group more.

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Cypher

This one’s too close to home… like watching my wife duke it out with my mistress… I’m just gonna stand here and nonchalantly hold this bottle of oil :-p

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nobleeinherjar

I usually go for lore over story. Lore implies giving me a world to explore and discover. Story implies linearity, which isn’t a bad thing, but it’s not what I want out of an MMO.
I know this isn’t SWTOR or ESO, but if an MMO is going to do story, I’d prefer they do it like FFXI. That game has some amazing stories to follow. But they’re optional. Sure, you’re gonna wanna do some of them, like follow the storyline that gives you an airship pass. But even then, if I remember correctly, there’s an alternate way to get one that doesn’t require following the plot.

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Reselect Name

Wildstar, best game of all times….

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Vunak

I like the way SWTOR delivers it’s story and lore better. I like ESO as well, but I definitely like the way SWTOR delivers better and Star Wars lore is more interesting to me anyway. I just wish SWTOR wasn’t a typical tab target style combat system.